Cruise Ship Crime - How to Avoid Being a Victim of Crime at Sea

Cruise Ship Crime - How to Avoid Being a Victim of Crime at Sea

October 12, 2010 – Jessica Gold

You may have heard some rumors about cruise ship crime and victims of crime on cruise ships - and like many cruise passengers, you may have dismissed the stories as unbelievable.

But you do need to believe it. Crime at sea IS a problem. It is not a myth!

Did you know, for example, that somewhere in the world there is at least one sexual incident involving unwilling cruise passengers every month, and that more than 30 passengers disappear overboard every year.

Did you know also that there is an organization called the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) specifically set up to represent the victims of crime on cruise ships, their families and friends.

This is a very real problem.

The good news, however, is that by being aware of the problems, and by taking some sensible precautions, cruise passengers today can at least help to make sure that their cruise is safe and uneventful.

To avoid becoming a victim of crime on board a cruise ship - here are some handy snippets of advice - most of which are common sense. We just need to learn not to leave our common sense behind.

1: Be aware of your surroundings and don't be afraid to report anything that strikes you as suspicious to the cruise security officer. We are all encouraged to be vigilant when we travel, especially with the threat of terrorism looming ever large - this is just an extension of that thought.

2: Avoid areas of the ship that are deserted. If it feels unsafe - it probably is. And avoid deserted streets in ports of call that similarly feel unsafe.

3: Be sensible about alcohol and remember that consuming more drinks than you are used to inevitably leads to impaired judgment and a decreased awareness of your surroundings. This is just as true on shore as it is on board ship. There are plenty of opportunists just waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting and inebriated tourists.

4: Leave a breadcrumb trail - on board and at shore. No matter what you are doing on a cruise, make sure that someone, somewhere knows where you are at all times or knows at least where you are planning to be at any given time. Check in regularly with friends and family - even if this sounds restrictive.

5: Remember that the same rules of home security apply on a cruise. Just because your window now overlooks the Caribbean Sea it doesn't mean that you don't have to be vigilant about security. Keep your stateroom locked at all times, safeguard your key or cabin key card and make sure that valuables are safely locked away in the cabin safe.

6: Don't invite trouble by parading the streets of the port, or indeed the decks of a cruise ship, with too much jewelry on display. You may want to look your best, but the place for all your family heirlooms is not on a cruise. If you can't remove a diamond ring, turn it around so that the gem is hidden and it looks less expensive.

7: Avoid traveling with cash - and if you simply have to - make sure you have very little of it.

This is not meant to scare you, or make you wary about taking a cruise - it is just to remind you that the dangers on vacation are just as real as they are at home, and that by taking the same precautions you would at home will make sure you are as safe as can be.

Jessica Gold is a freelance travel writer publishing articles about travel destinations and advice on travel all over the world and is a contributor to several premier travel web sites such as Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine at and the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Blog at

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